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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Senate Elections Results & Index of articles
motivated violence ahead of Senate elections
Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
Weekly Media Update 2005-41
October 24th – Sunday October 30th 2005
THIS week the
private media revealed that politically motivated violence, a hallmark
of the country’s electoral process, had erupted in some parts of
the country ahead of the November 26 Senate elections. These media
recorded two incidents in the three stories they carried on political
violence. The stories named ZANU PF activists and members of the
military as being responsible for the violence, while their victims
ranged from supporters of the opposition MDC to members of the public
and civic society.
Studio 7 (27/10) and the Zimbabwe Independent (28/10) reported
that war veterans and ZANU PF supporters had severely assaulted
five researchers from the Mass Public Opinion Institute of Zimbabwe
who were conducting research on democracy in Beatrice.
For Human Rights, which is assisting the five victims lodge a complaint
with the police and government, confirmed the incident saying the
five were accused of "acting against national interests".
The human rights watchdog also revealed that a "soldier"
in "full military uniform" also took part
in beating the researchers.
of a member of the military in the assault was not isolated.
reported in another incident that "soldiers"
had assaulted "15 Budiriro residents" when
they indiscriminately beat up people in the suburb.
One of the victims
claimed that his assailants threatened him with death if he continued
supporting the MDC, while another alleged that he was beaten up
for wearing an opposition party T-shirt.
Two weeks ago
SW Radio Africa (17/10) reported on another case of vicitimisation
of Budiriro residents by soldiers.
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was quoted in the Independent
expressing ignorance of the incidents saying if the victims did
not report the cases "then we (the police) don’t know
anything about it". However, one of the victims belied
Bvudzijena’s claims saying, "he reported the case to
the police" but "was chased away".
government media ignored these incidents and only reported on the
intra-party violence in the MDC, sparked by the nomination of three
opposition candidates in Gweru aligned to one of the warring groups
in the party (ZTV, 24/10, 8pm; The Herald and Chronicle,
25/10). The Chronicle (26/10) then used this single incident
of MDC violence to make wild and unsubstantiated claims against
the party claiming that "the same MDC youths that unleashed
violence" outside the Gweru nomination court "have
in the past caused mayhem in different towns where they have destroyed
property worth billions of dollars".
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